Coronation Street and Emmerdale: Soap stars deal with traumatic plots

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Two soap stars have been speaking about how difficult their current storylines have been to film.

Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt on Coronation Street, says he's had to "shake off" his character after filming scenes for his male rape storyline.

And Emmerdale star Emma Atkins said filming scenes which look at Charity Dingle's past were the hardest thing she's done on the soap.

"It was incredibly challenging," the actress said.

A 30-minute flashback episode is being screened on 29 May, focusing on abuse that Charity suffered when she was 14. It comes after the character was seen speaking to her partner Vanessa Woodfield, played by Michelle Hardwick, about her traumatic childhood.

'Personal emotions'

Speaking about the scenes, however, she added that she had "loved every second of it".

"I know that sounds weird, but I think, as an actor, it's great to be given something where there's a whole host of things going on, with her past, with the sadness that's attached," said Atkins.

"It was extremely difficult, but it was great teamwork. Michelle made it so easy as well, and we bounce off one another really well."

image copyrightITV
image captionCharity Dingle has been seen in emotional scenes

She explained how it felt to film the storyline, adding: "You have to go to difficult places when it comes to the moment you're filming such dramatic scenes, you have to pull on personal emotions that you've experienced in the past.

"That isn't particularly pleasant, but it's part of the journey when you're an actor and you need something to give you that impetus."

Charity is played by a young actress for some of the scenes in the flashback. Emmerdale has been working with a team at North Yorkshire's Rape Unit while it was researching the storyline.

Atkins added that there were upsetting scenes to come, saying: "There's only so much you can show when it's going out to that many people at that time of day... it's tough watching. A lot of it's implied as well, which makes it more powerful."

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image captionDavid Platt was drugged and assaulted by Josh Tucker, left, in the harrowing scenes

Meanwhile, Jack P Shepherd has been talking about his storyline, which has seen David Platt struggling to cope after he was raped by Josh Tucker, played by Ryan Clayton.

Asked about how he relaxes following such scenes, he said: "I take myself off for a short while to shake off David.

"I have to take myself into quite a dark place to get that emotion so it is important to get yourself back in reality quickly."

The 30-year-old said it was "such an important story to tell", adding: "The storyline has got people talking which is exactly what we set out to do.

"When you are playing a part, you get on with telling the story but to see the effect it has had is very rewarding, so it has been great."

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